Suffering injuries as a result of medical malpractice can be a devastating experience.
Not only do medical malpractice injuries make it difficult, if not impossible, for patients to work, but those patients also often have significant medical bills they struggle to pay in order to recover from injuries caused by their healthcare provider’s negligence.
Accordingly, most patients who decide to file a medical malpractice claim want to obtain compensation as quickly as possible. When you are fighting to get by without your income while also making payments on costly medical bills, we know how important it is to get your claim resolved quickly.
We often work with patient’s who want to know:
- How long a medical malpractice case takes to resolve
- How long does a malpractice settlement take?
- If you need to take your case to court because the other side will not offer a reasonable settlement- how long does a malpractice lawsuit take?
The answers to these questions vary depending upon the specific facts of the case.
Most Medical Malpractice Claims Take a Long Time
Medical malpractice laws are complex, and accordingly, medical malpractice claims can take a long time whether you settle your case or take it to court. Generally speaking, settling a claim takes less time than litigating your case in court. However, many plaintiffs end up needing to take their cases to court when the other side refuses to offer a reasonable settlement.
There are many factors that play a role in how long a case takes, including but not limited to the following:
- How quickly the patient discovers the injury
- How long it takes for another healthcare provider to determine the extent of the patient’s injuries
- How quickly the patient files a claim
- Amount of time it takes a patient to heal
- Amount of evidence in patient’s favor
- Amount of time it takes to gather evidence in the patient’s favor
- Willingness of the defendant to negotiate a reasonable settlement
So, how long does a medical malpractice case take? The answer depends on the willingness of both sides to negotiate, the amount of time it takes to gather evidence for negotiations, and whether a case ends up going to court.
As soon as a case ends up in court, the length will likely be extended significantly. When a case ultimately goes to court, it can get delayed for reasons beyond the control of either party. For example, it may be necessary to set hearing dates far into the future.
Was the Injured Party Partially to Blame?
Another factor that can affect the length of a medical malpractice claim is whether the defendant believes it can raise the defense of comparative fault.
Under Georgia law, comparative fault is defined as the “effect of plaintiff’s failure to avoid consequences of defendant’s negligence.” As long as a plaintiff is not 50 percent or more to blame, he/she can still recover damages, but the award will be reduced by the percentage of fault.
For example, the healthcare provider might argue that the patient failed to provide a complete medical history, or provided an inaccurate medical history, which made the healthcare provider’s mistake even worse.
Or, for instance, the healthcare provider might argue that the patient failed to file instructions or did something that aggravated the injury, making the injury even worse than it would have been otherwise.
Contact a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Georgia
Do you need help filing a claim? A Georgia
medical malpractice lawyer can assist you.
Contact Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley, P.C. today for a free consultation